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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  September 15, 2023 2:06am-2:42am PDT

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long could he spend in prison if convicted? our legal analyst standing by. also tonight, former president donald trump, his reaction to those new hunter biden charges, in our nbc news exclusive interview with kristen welker, the new moderator of "meet the press. and as he faces multiple indictments of his own, we ask, if he wins back the white house in 2024, will he pardon himself the state of emergency declared in maine. boston under a tropical storm w warning. as hurricane lee takes aim at new england we've got the new track. just hours until the midnight deadline, as united auto workers prepare for a historic strike how far apart are the two sides? guests locked out of their rooms and slot machines with blank screens. the cyber attack causing chaos at las vegas casinos. and the american pulled from a cave in turkey speaking out the incredible rescue in his own words. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt
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good evening and welcome. president biden's son, hunter, was indicted on federal gun charges today, just months after a plea agreement that would have kept him out of prison unraveled under a judge's scrutiny instead tonight, the younger biden facing three counts related to lying about his drug use when purchasing a firearm charges that do carry the possibility of prison time and biden still facing possible indictment on tax-related charges. with the statute of limitations looming on the gun charges, special counsel david weiss filing the indictment today the criminal indictment of the son of a sitting president, 14 months before the next presidential election, opening wide avenues of political attack for republicans who have been investigating hunter biden and the legality only some of his business dealings. ryan nobles has late details. >> reporter: tonight, hunter biden under criminal indictment and facing the possibility of prison time any comment on the
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hunter biden investigation, sir special counse david weiss not commenting today after handing down three federal felony gun charges against hunter biden for allegedly lying about his drug addiction when he purchased a firearm. two of those charges carrying maximum sentences of ten years in prison. it comes just two months after that controversial plea deal fell apart under a judge's scrutiny weiss had negotiated an agreement for the president's son to avoid any prison time, by going through a pretrial diversion program on the gun charge, and pleading guilty to misdemeanor tax charges. republicans had slammed it as a sweetheart deal for the president's son, and blasted attorney general merrick garland for choosing weiss as the special counsel to investigate hunter biden tonight, a top republican told us the gun charges are not enough >> if i rank those crimes 1 through 12, i would rank this one a distant 12th and ironically, this is the one crime the president's son committed that you can't tie back to the president.
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>> reporter: house republicans have opened an impeachmen inquiry to investigate whether president biden benefited from the foreign business dealings of hunter biden and other biden family members though they presented no direct evidence against president biden yet, and the white house says their investigation has been a bust >> that's what they've spent all year doing, and have turned up with no evidence -- none -- that he did anything wrong >> reporter: meanwhile tonight, one of the two irs whistle-blowers to testify to congress that hunter biden was given preferential treatment during the tax investigation is speaking out to nbc news >> i'm a 38-year-old gay man, i'm a -- i'm -- my politics are simple i'm -- i am a democrat >> reporter: joe ziegler telling nbc's tom winter that weiss was not the right choice for special counsel. >> did there come a point where there were witnesses that you wanted to interview that prosecutors said, we don't think that's a good idea? >> yes there were multiple witnesses that we wanted to go interview, and we were
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shot down. >> should the american people have confidence in the out come of this case? >> there were leads that we didn't follow, there was evidence that we didn't follow. there were things that we didn't do you in those five years that were essentially halted from -- from the prosecutors. >> ryan, what are hunter biden's attorneys saying tonight? >> reporter: lester, hunter biden's attorney says these charges are not warranted, and that there's no evidence that has changed, and says that maga republicans are interfering in this process. and as for those whistle-blowers, weiss, who is a trump appointee, has said he was acting independently. lester >> ryan nobles, thank you. we're joined now by senior legal correspondent laura jarrett. laura, what should we make of the timing of this >> lester, the reality is, prosecutors were simply running out of time here they have five years from when they say he lied about buying that gun in 2018 to bring any charges. which means they have to charge by next month, or it's all gone plus, even if the
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facts are straightforward, legally, the case is just not a slam dunk a federal appeals court recently struck down one of the two gun laws being used here as unconstitutional, and, of course, that's a different case and a different jurisdiction, but it underscores the gamble that prosecutors are taking with what's charged here, lester >> all right, laura, thank you. we have the exclusive reaction tonight to those new hunter biden charges from former president trump. he sat down today with our kristen welker for his first broadcast interview since leaving the white house. >> mr. president, can you continue to say that there are two systems of justice? >> well, i think there's no question about it. he had a plea deal that was the deal of the century. the art of the deal. you could write a book on it, the art of the deal. and all of a sudden, that was broken up by a judge who was able to -- a brilliant judge, actually who was able to see what was happening and it's a sad situation. i mean, nobody should be happy about this >> more of that interview with air sunday when kristen
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debuts as moderator of "meet the press. and she joins us now from bedminster, new jersey kristen, you also asked the former president about the legal challenges he's facing you brought up the topic of a pardon, and he had a pretty interesting answer >> reporter: lester, that's right. former president trump said it's unlikely he would consider pardoning himself if he were re-elected, because he said he did nothing wrong. but for the first time, revealed he did consider it in his final days in office mr. president, if you were re-elected, would you pardon yourself >> i could have pardoned myself. do you know what i was given an option to pardon myself i could have pardoned myself when i left people said, would you like to pardon yourself i had a couple of attorneys that said, you can do it, if you want i had some people that said, it would look bad if you do, because i think it would look terrible i said, here's the story. these people are thugs, horrible people, fascists,
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marxists, sick people. they've been after me from the day i came down the escalator with melania, and i did a great job as president people are acknowledging -- great economy, great jobs, great this, great that, rebuilt the military, space force, everything i could go on forever. let me just tell you, i said, the last thing i'd ever do is give myself a pardon. >> and kristen, you also pressed him on abortion rights. >> reporter: lester, that's right i asked former president trump if he would support a federal ban on abo abortion he said he's looking to negotiate a deal. he did not commit to a federal ban or a number of weeks. he did take aim at his gop rival ron desantis for signing a six-week ban into florida law, saying that just goes too far. lester >> all right, kristen, thank you. you can see more of kristen's interview with former president trump on this sunday's edition of "meet the press." also tonight, we're tracking the threat from hurricane lee. a state of emergency declared in maine, and a tropical storm warning has been issued for boston, as lee closes in on new england. it comes after days of
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storms and flooding across the country let's get more now from kathy park >> reporter: tonight, maine now under a state of emergency, with its first hurricane watch in 15 years. what are you doing to prepare for the storm? >> i'm going to pull my boat out tonight. >> i feel like it's been -- people are taking it more seriously than other storms we've had >> reporter: most of new england bracing for hurricane lee. expected to churn up dangerous rip currents and storm surge. >> i'm kind of hoping that it's kind of light, and i think it will stay light, but obviously, things can change >> reporter: extreme weather out east fueling lightning and flooding in maryland and this afternoon, more floodwaters in atlanta, rushing into the dorms of park atlanta university meanwhile, new video revealing the strength of the monsoon storms that roared through mesa, arizona, this week >> wow, this is -- we're blowing hard over here. >> reporter: sheets of rain making it nearly impossible for drivers to see the road
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>> we had to pull over, because you can't even see >> reporter: powerful winds and heavy rain shredded airport hangars in falcon field, damaging several planes >> the wind was so strong, it just blew it into the door, took it down. >> reporter: back in maine, clear skies for now. as hurricane lee continues to track north. >> kathy joins us now live from portland, maine. what can we expect to see there over the next 48 hours? >> reporter: well, lester, in a bit of good news, according to the latest models, it appears thatmaine will be spared a direct hit from the hurricane, but some saturday, things will look very different around here, with several inches of rain in the forecast, as well as powerful winds. lester >> kathy park, thank you. and we are closely tracking her khan lel hurricane lee's path as it moves north towards new england. meteorologist dylan dreyer is here >> lester, we've been watching this storm for a long
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time the storm is still moving north right now at about 15 miles per hour so, it is still going to come close enough to new england to impact it a bit, but the storm itself is going to really hit nova scotia, especially as we go into saturday. now, we are still expecting maybe one to three inches of rain along the new england coast. down-east maine could get closer to four inches of rain and it will be close enough to produce wind gusts 40 to 50 miles per hour, especially across maine but even back through new york, we could see wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour going into saturday morning keep in mind, we're not looking at a major storm surge here, about one to three feet, however, if anyone is going into the water this weekend, keep in mind that the rip currents will be very dangerous. >> all right, dylan, thanks for the update. another major story we're following tonight, the deadline just hours away now for united auto workers threatening to stage an unprecedented strike, and the union of the big three automakers still seem to be far apart. let's get the latest now from jesse kirsch. >> reporter: after weeks of contentious bargaining between united auto workers and detroit's big three, tonight, negotiators running out of roadway. can you still get a deal by midnight >> we don't know >> reporter: in less than six
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hours, without new contracts, the uaw says for the first time ever, it will strike against ford, general motors, an chrysler-owned stellantis simultaneously >> the uaw doesn't back down from a fight. >> reporter: late today, ford's ceo jim farley telling me the uaw's president still has not made a counter offer. >> it was a historical offer to protect the jobs and the future of our employees, and for the people he represents and we still haven't heard back >> reporter: gm's president warning a strike has wide-reaching consequences >> it hurts everybody. it hurts our employees, it hurts the communities where these plants are >> reporter: the uaw says all three companies are still offering a pay bump far short of its demands, which include bringing back pensions and retiree health care, plus, the right to strike over plant closures and cutting the time it takes to make top pay >> it's totally untenable. we can't sustain our company, we'd tgo bung rup bankrupt in a matter of years
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>> reporter: if they strike, auto workers like michelle thomas will get just $500 from the union each week. food and toiletries being donated for those in need >> going to have to find ways to make ends meet, because it's just not myself, it's two other people i'm responsible for. >> reporter: cnbc reports the uaw initial walkout could target key facilities in three states, possibly paralyzing manufacturing. >> once the uaw strikes at a transmission plant, it pretty much cuts final assembly production almost within a day or two. >> reporter: uaw's president vowing the list of targets could grow >> this is going to create confusion for the companies. it's going to turbocharge the power of our negotiators >> reporter: according to one estimate, strikes at gm and ford alone could cost the companies over $5 billion combined each week plus, new car and replacement part availability could eventually be hit, depending on how long the strike lasts >> so, jesse what's the latest status of the negotiations >> reporter: lester, still no word on agreement. and the white house just said president biden today spoke with the uaw president, as
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well as company leaders. meanwhile, ford's ceo says within hours of a potential strike at some facilities, there could be layoffs at other facilities he calls a possible strike chaos lester >> jesse kirsch tonight, thank you. in just 60 seconds, slot machine glitches and guests locked out of rooms. the cyber attack on las vegas casinos. and the new study shining light on the mystery, what happens when we die?
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overseas, as many as 20,000 people are now feared dead in the flooding in libya. an aid group says the toll on the city of derna alone has surpassed 11,000 the u.n. today saying most of those deaths could have been avoided if libya had a proper weather service that could have issued warnings and prompted evacuations. back here at home, in las vegas, a massive data breach caesars confirms it was hit by hackers who got guests' private information. meanwhile, another
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apparent cyber attack has mgm resorts reeling. miguel almaguer reports. >> reporter: the cyber attack was confirmed today by caesars the casino giant now saying hackers breached their firewalls and hijacked critical data that includes social security and drivers license numbers for customers who signed up for their loyalty program. our partners at cnbc reporting a criminal cyber group demanded a $30 million ransom last week before the casino paid roughly half of it why is that data so important? >> that data can be used by people that like to commit identity theft, to open new credit cards, to get drivers eye lens, to get social security cards, to open a mortgage. >> reporter: in an s.e.c. filing, caesars entertainment says, "we have taken steps to ensure that the stolen data is deleted by the unauthorized actor, although we cannot guarantee this result." the confirmed cyber attack, the first of two reported just days apart.
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earlier this week, just down the vegas strip at mgm, slot machines suddenly went down, guests waited for hours to check in, and atms were offline. the fbi is now investigating what many experts already believe. did the same cyber criminals who hacked caesars also hack mgm? the question now, are they holding personal data from that casino for ransom with mgm saying today they are working diligently to resolve our cyber security issue. tonight, it appears luck has run out for two major casinos. miguelal g al ma gare, nbc news we have a new development, a story we brought you here last night. this luxury cruise ship stuck in the mud off the coast of greenland for three days was finally pulled free today by a research vessel. the luxury liner with more than 200 people onboard is headed to port so passengers can get off and get home all onboard are reportedly safe. still ahead tonight, memories of
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dying. the intriguing new study that describes what people saw, heard, and felt before they were brought back to life.
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we're back now with a story that got us all talking and thinking today it's a fascinating new study about the mysteries of death what happens to our brains and bodies, and what it might really be like to die anne thompson explains >> reporter: the moments after death --
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>> mr. pendleton, you know where you are, don't you >> reporter: hollywood imagined warren beatty greeted by james mason and buck henry in "heaven can wait." >> flat line >> reporter: kiefer sutherland and kevin bacon revisited their sins in "flat liners." >> so, what is it, dave is today a good day to die? >> reporter: mary curren hackett experienced none of those things >> it was like almost going home and there was nothing to be afraid of. >> reporter: the cincinnati writer's heart stopped for several minutes in the hospital in 2004 >> and i could see everything, feel everything, hear everything, even though i know now i was medically dying. i felt an overwhelming rush, and almost a pressure, being pulled, like, almost like a force field being pulled back into my body, and then i woke up and saw the doctors that i had been seeing working on me. >> reporter: experience like hackett's part of a new scientific study published today. it found people who went into cardiac arrest and were
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brought back to life by cpr, almost 40% had a recollection of dying. nyu's dr. sam parnia is the lead researcher >> we found normal brain electrical activity consistent with the types of things we all have when we're fully conscious. >> reporter: what did your study show about what happens to the brain after the heart stops? >> contrary to the way that doctors have been taught, that after the heart stops, the brain does not die it hibernates, and it shows the ability to recover, even an hour longer afterwards. >> reporter: parnia and hackett are working on a book. parnia hopes it will spur new innovation in resuscitation technology hackett hopes it will make us think. >> if you talk about how you're going to die, or what's going to happen when you die, itframes how yo are going to live. and what could be more impactful? >> reporter: assign tries to unlock the mystery of death anne thompson, nbc news >> we'll let you talk about that one and take a break. when we come back, we're hearing from the
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american caver who almost died thousands of feet underground. what he's saying about how he got out alive
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finally tonight, an incredible survival story. that american caver caught underground is now describing how rescuers saved him and brought him out alive. here's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: there were moments, mark dickey says, when he thought he wasn't getting out of that turkish cave alive >> i'm feeling very good compared to where i
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started off in this rescue >> reporter: speaking from a hospital room in turkey alongside his fiancee and fellow caver, jessica van ord, he described the harrowing ordeal >> at first, it was, i have no idea what's going on, but it's probably not life-threatening, into, this is life-threatening, i need help. >> reporter: van ord climbed more than 3,000 feet out of the cave after dickey became suddenly ill, vomiting blood >> i just knew that i was definitely fit for that job, to get out of there, and then get back as soon as possible, and coordinate a rescue while up on the surface, in necessary. >> reporter: what started as an exploration expedition turned into a massive international rescue effort. >> there's lots of different medical terminology, but circling the drain is one of them and i was down pretty deep in that drain >> reporter: at times, he says, he was only semiconscious. rescuers gave him a blood transfusion. >> i'm not healed on the inside yet, so -- i'm going to need a lot of help to get out of here. >> reporter: loaded on
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a stretcher, dickey was pulled up to safety after an arduous 57-hour effort >> cave rescuers are family i'm the person that got rescued. they did all of the work to get me out, and i trust them >> reporter: thankful, he says, and not surprised that the tight-knit caving community answered his call stephanie gosk, nbc news >> that's "nightly news" for this thursday thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night
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♪ ♪ kisses on your body were like heaven, we were taking it slow ♪ tangled in the sheets until the evening there was nowhere to go, yeah ♪ we were in a daze learning each other's shapes, tracing shadows of rain down your back, oh oh ♪ kisses on your body in my memory, baby, nothing comes close ♪ it was the summer of love ♪ a delicate day dream ♪ and for a couple of months ♪ it felt like we were 18, yeah ♪ it was the summer of love, love
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♪ love ♪ it was the summer of it felt like 18, we were taking it slow. there was nowhere to go oh ♪ it was the summer of love, a delicate day dream and for a couple of months ♪ it felt like we were 18, yeah ♪ it was the summer of love, love oh ♪ it was the summer of love, love ♪ it was the summer of [ cheers and applause ] >> give it up for my band,
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y'all! >> kelly: everyone but lester. don't give it up for lester. that was "summer of love" by shawn mendes. he said he was able to write it after a few months off, having a summer with people he loved. like last summer was the only summer i was able to chill. awesome, i am glad for that song. a good one today. cast and creators of "bros" are here. but first, i want to introduce to another set of guys, talking about the gentlemen sitting in blake's box seats today. yep. yep. these firemen are part of the 30th annual australian calendar, raised more has been $3 million for worthy causes. each year they put out several
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calendars. one of their main ones. i know. an excited audience today. one of the main ones is firemen with cats. which is awesome. everybody say hello to dennis, ricky, ben, mitch, and greg! [ cheers and applause ] >> kelly: okay. so welcome, you guys. most of you have done these calendars for a few years. what do you love about it? >> good day, kelly. it has been a fantastic time. we are all awesome mates. doing it for about five years now. cats, fires, what do you want. awesome fun. >> my first year doing the calendar, hopefully will do a few more. personally for me, i think there's something symbolic about cats and firefighters. so sketch with my little kitten, he was so photogenic, wish i had more time with him. >> kelly: you are photogenic.
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a very great picture. i was sad for filling in blake's seat. feels wrong, weird. so ben, you're all in town for cat con this weekend. explain what that is and what you're doing. can anyone come? it sounds fun. >> sure. cat con is like comic-con for cat people. it is the largest event in the world, celebrating everything feline. we're going to be there, we're going to be signing some calendars, getting some photos. but importantly, we're looking for homes, new homes for 200 cats and kittens. >> kelly: oh. >> yeah. if anybody is in the l.a. area, please come by the pasadena convention center. we'll be there. actually, kelly, we have a present for you as well. we want to make you a firefighter with us.
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>> kelly: gentlemen, i'm thinking of renaming the box at this point. unworthy of your presence now. thank you so much, gentlemen! >> thank you. >> kelly: that's so cool. raising so much money. that's really cool. so thank you for that. and you all will want to say thank you as well. everyone in the audience is going home with the 2023 cat calendar! speaking of men who should be on calendars, let's bring out our first guests. they're in the new comedy "bros". say hello to billy eisner and luke mcfarland! ♪ ♪ say hi to the firemen.
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first set here in america. >> hi. >> we noticed you. >> billy joked back stage i wore the same outfit as you. but i've never been a fireman, i played one in a hallmark movie. >> kelly: basically the same, right? >> not at all. >> requires the same level of bravery. >> kelly: my son is six. he has gone through the phase to want to be a fireman. did you go through that as a kid? >> yeah, the greatest heroes in our society. >> kelly: oh, that's sweet. i like that. wait, i know we talked before about your parents, how much they encouraged you. that's cool in the entertainment world. how were they like as a kid? you sing in this, i had to lead with this. but i just, i had to leave it. i thought it waso

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